What happens to the soil during a fire?

FARMS Leadership | Monterey and Santa Cruz | December 7, 2020

Location(s) of Field Day:
Resource Conservation District of Monterey County
744 La Guardia St., Suite A
Salinas, Ca

Participating Schools:
Soquel High School
Gonzalez High School
Alisal High School
Greenfield High School

Field Day Hosts and Mentors:
Drew Mathers – Soil Conservationist with the Natural Resource Conservation Services
Megan Barker – Project Administrator/ Environmental Scientist with the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County
Laura Murphy – Soil Scientist with the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County

Theme: Post-Fire Soils

Summary of the Day: 

2020 has been a challenging year on so many levels and this summer we had one of the worst wildfire seasons in California history. All of our students and teachers were affected by the wildfires. In Santa Cruz County, there was the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that burned 86,509 acres, and in Monterey County, there was the River Fire that burned 48,088 acres. With the trauma of the summer fires fresh in their minds, students had a chance to learn about soil and how it is affected by wildfires. Drew Mathers from the NRCS and Laura Murphy with the RCDMC sourced 6 different types of soils for student’s to experiment with. The field day was packed with information on the challenges and the benifits of wildfires. Students learned about the different severity levels of wildfires and how to observe the landscape to determine how severe a fire was in an area of land. There were polls and experiments and we all had a lot of fun learning about soil conservation and wildfires.

Video Recording coming soon!

Organic Farmer Training Programs

FARMS Leadership | Monterey and Santa Cruz | November 16, 2020

Location(s) of Field Day:
ALBA (Agriculture Land-Based Training Association)
1700 Old Stage Rd, Salinas, CA 93908

Participating Schools:
Soquel High School
Gonzalez High School
Alisal High School
Greenfield High School

Field Day Hosts and Mentors:
Nathan Harkleroad – Education Program Manager with ALBA
Nancy Porto – Community Relations and Environmental Education Officer

Theme: Organic Farming

Summary of the Day: 

We wouldn’t be the FARMS Program if we didn’t talk about farming. This month, students learned about Organic Farming and the different training programs offered by ALBA. One of our students, Anahi Benivedes’ father is actually a farmer in one of the ALBA Programs. Nathan and Nancy shared a very engaging presentation and took us on a fun and informative virtual tour of the ALBA Headquarters. For the hands-on kits, students received an infographic poster about organic farming and conventional farming. They each received organic seedlings for their home gardens.

Waste, Innovation and Worm Farming

FARMS Leadership | Monterey and Santa Cruz | October 26, 2020

Location(s) of Field Day:
Jardin el Sol at the Sun Street Transfer Station
139 Sun St.
Salinas, Ca 93901

Participating Schools:
Soquel High School
Gonzalez High School
Alisal High School
Greenfield High School

Field Day Hosts and Mentors:
Estella Gutierrez – Resource Recovery Technician with Salinas Valley Recycles
Darlene Ruiz – Resource Recovery Technician with Salinas Valley Recycles

Theme: Food Waste and Innovation

Summary of the Day: 

Welcome to FARMS Leadership 2020! Our first field day is finally here and students start the year off virtually. This year we will be sending students monthly hands-on kits and this months kit is a build your own worm farm.

Students got dirty with this month’s kit as they built and named their farms. Students learned how to care for worms and how to keep a vermicomposting set up healthy and well-fed. Students then met with Salinas Valley Recycles to learn about food waste and waste innovation happening in Monterey County.